Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have consistently reported new international tourist arrival records this year as the region’s popularity soars. Recently published statistics by the state’s tourism authority reveal that over a million tourists traveled there this September, setting a new record despite the start of the low season.
The figures come as the Mexican Caribbean gears up for a busy fall and winter season, as millions of tourists, especially from North America, begin to plan their next vacation. The record-shattering visitor number was published recently by the state’s tourism authority, which said that for the first time in history, more than a million tourists flocked to the Mexican Caribbean by air in September.
Cancun International Airport retains its leading position as the main airport in the region and has seen over 22 million tourists walk through its gates so far this year. The airport, which is struggling with a staffing shortage leading to occasionally long lines at customs and immigration, has stepped up efforts to ease congestion. Meanwhile, authorities are projecting strong travel demand to continue throughout the year, with December expected to be especially busy.
Aside from Cancun International Airport, by far the largest, the Mexican Caribbean is home to two other airports: Cozumel and Chetumal, which also saw increased passenger traffic. Officials say that Cozumel airport saw a whopping 85.5% growth in travel figures compared to 2019, as more airlines, including American Airlines and Air Canada, launch new flights to the tropical destination.
The Mexican Caribbean reached a new milestone “as a result of the increased availability of flights as well as improved aerial connections to the region with over 7100 flights from 101 cities across 25 countries globally,” according to the state’s tourism office. The United States remains the largest market for incoming tourists, followed by Canada and Colombia. With over 40 direct flights from the U.S., Cancun International Airport is one of the best-connected hubs in Mexico.
Aside from tourists, the Mexican Caribbean is also reporting strong growth in the real estate market. The tropical destination is attracting everyone from young couples to retirees, with cheap prices, pleasant year-round weather, and unmatched hospitality.
Cancun International Airport To Tackle Lines At Customs And Immigration
Record travel numbers are also causing occasional travel chaos at Cancun airport, the main entry point for the millions of tourists that flock to the Mexican Caribbean each year. Over the summer, airport officials hired over a hundred staff members to man busy customs and immigration checks in an effort to cut down wait times.
Although the summer season has come to an end, authorities are forecasting greater travel numbers towards the end of the year. The recent decision to scrap the mandatory FMM form has made travel to the sun-soaked destination easier than before. Coupled with the new electronic passport check technology currently being implemented for American and Canadian travelers this winter, officials hope to see a significant reduction in wait times.
Meanwhile, bottlenecks are still being reported at customs, as Cancun airport struggles with a staff shortage. The situation has led to calls from tourism organizations to step up measures to address the issue as the region inches closer to the winter season.
Tourists flying through Cancun International Airport’s Terminal 3 can look forward to using new electronic check-in kiosks, which were recently added to the busy terminal. Terminal 3 handles most domestic flights and several international ones. Airport officials remain hopeful the new measures will be effective over the next months.
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